Gem Lake | Gem Lake area groundwater contamination

Recent water sampling from private wells in the Gem Lake area has revealed the presence of the chemical 1,4-dioxane above state health risk limits. Where results are above the health-risk limit, residents have been provided bottled water as a short-term solution. The agency will work to identify and implement the best long-term solution for providing clean safe drinking water. Municipal wells supplying White Bear Township were tested and 1,4-dioxane was not detected.

Our role 

The MPCA and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are actively investigating in this area to determine the impacted area and source of contamination. The study area shown on the figure below is the focus of the investigation. Residents within the study area have received requests from the MDH, MPCA, or a consultant to sample their well. Households with wells that have been sampled with results in excess of the MDH health risk limit (HRL) have been notified and are currently receiving bottled water.

Map: area of investigation in Gem Lake where water sampling from private wells has revealed the presence of the chemical 1,4-dioxane above state health risk limits.

Public input

MPCA hosted a virtual public meeting with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on October 14, 2021.

    More information

    Private well testing

    Inside the investigation area. For information about private well sampling, contact Michael Ginsbach (651-757-2329).

    Outside of the investigation area. Four Minnesota-certified testing laboratories will analyze water samples from private well owners to test for 1,4-dioxane. The State of Minnesota does not endorse or guarantee any specific laboratory or services any laboratory may provide.

    • Pace Analytical Services, LLC (612-607-1700)
    • Interpoll Laboratories, Inc. (763-786-6020)
    • RMB Environmental Laboratories, Inc. (952-456-8470)
    • Minnesota Valley Testing Laboratories, Inc. (507-354-8517)

    MDH does not issue well advisory letters based on third party results. MPCA would need to resample the well and provide results to MDH before a well advisory would be issued. MPCA and MDH staff are available to answer questions about private testing results.

    Refer to this MDH fact sheet for more information:

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